The air conditioner at one Salvation Army shelter in Austin is only operating on a limited capacity and won't be fixed until later next week.
With a shelter full of people in need of a little help to get out of homelessness, the Salvation Army in downtown Austin is hoping for some help of their own.
“The air conditioning here at the downtown shelter is functioning at a diminished capacity and we are working to ensure that that is repaired as quickly as possible. We ordered the part that is required to fix the chiller and are looking to have that repaired later this week,” said Jan Gunter, communications and community relations director at the Salvation Army.
With the air conditioning on the fritz, Salvation Army staff is trying to find other ways to keep residents cool.
“We are working really hard to keep everybody comfortable and we have quite a few fans going in the dorms. All the dorms have fans and so we're working to circulate that area, keep it as cool as possible, so that our residents, the folks that are staying here, can be comfortable,” Gunter said.
Fixing the A/C at the shelter is a $15,000 unexpected cost and because the facility operates on donations they are asking for help now more than ever.
“In a time like this, it is a reminder of the fact that it costs to operate large facilities like this and so this is one of those costs and again we welcome those donations from the community that will help us to ensure we are able to not only cover this big repair, but also to continue providing the depth of services we provide,” said Gunter.
The 242 bed shelter is at 100 plus capacity right now and although it may not be as cool as residents and staff would hope for, it is a step up from trying to beat the heat out on the street.
“Every day this shelter is really a haven for those folks, for families and for single men and for single women, who we're not only providing shelter, we're also providing case management. So we're helping them move from this crisis they're experiencing towards self-sufficiency,” Gunter said.
In the meantime, the Salvation Army is handing out ice water to residents to help keep them hydrated.
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